History Revision Cards: Hitlers' Steps to War

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Rearmament

1933 - Hitler leaves disarmament conference and League to break Treaty of Versailles

1933 - Starts expanding armed forces

1934 - Hitler signed ten year non-aggression pact with Poland

1935 - Hitler reintoduces conscriptions response to French change in conscription

1935 - Anglo German Naval Agreement

1938 - German Army - 800000 -  soldiers    Navy - 47 U boats      Airforce - 2000 aircraft

Britain & France reaction - form Stresa Front, Anglo German Naval Agreement, French angered

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Saar Plebicite

1935 - Plebiscite held in Saar voted to go to Germany.  This was stated in the Treaty of Versailles after 15 years a plebiscite could be held but Nazi's said was great victory over treaty.

Votes: 90% Germany     8% League of Nations      2% France

Britain and France did nothing as the actions were completely legal

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Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

7th March 1936 German troops marched into Rhineland while France and GB were distracted with the Abyssinian crisis.  Hitler promised that Germany would sign a non-aggression pact as they had no ambition to take more land.   At the end of March, Hitler held a vote on his policies in Germany, 99% were in favour.  Broke Treaty of Versailles and Lacamo pact of 1925.

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Anschluss

After a failed takeover in 1934, Hitler tried to take over Austria once again in 1938.  There were rumours of a Nazi plot to overthrow the Austrian Government. Schussnig, Austrian Chancellor appeald to Hitler to stop the plotting, Hitler instead forced Schussnig to appoint Seyss-Inquart.  Schussnig held a plebiscite to ask Austrian people if they wanted to become German.  Panicking, Hitler moved troops to border stopping plebiscite, Schussnig resigned, Seyss-Inquart becomes Chancellor and invited Hitler in to restore order 12th March 1938.  Power was handed to Hitler, Anschluss was proclaimed.  In April 1938 plebiscite was held; 99.75% agreed to Anschlus.

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Appeasement

Policy of Neville Chamberlin between 1937 and 1939.  Chamberlain believed that through negotiation Hitler's grievances could be solved.  He hoped this would prevent another war.

Pros:

  • Germany deserved a fair deal
  • Fear of communism
  • The British people had to want war
  • Fear of another war
  • Britain needed time

Cons:

  • Hitler's aggression encouraged
  • Germany growing stronger
  • Appeasement scared the USSR
  • Hitler determined to conquer Eastern Europe
  • Munich agreement was a disaster
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Sudentenland Crisis

Hitler encourages Heinlein, leader of Nazis in Sudentanland to campaign for independence and met with Chamberlain at Berchtesgarden on 15th September and demanded Sudentanland join Germany after a vote and again on 22nd September at Godersburg demanded Sudentanland without a vote although Chamberlain was acceptant at Berchtesgarden at Godesburg he was disappointed with Hitlers demands and returned to Britain to prepare for war.

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Munich Conference

30th September 1938 the Munich conference was held attended by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and French leader Delodier. Czechoslovakian leader Benes not invited and forced to accept that Sudentanland would become German.  Hitler also signed agreement with Chamberlin saying he would never go to war with Great Britain.

Consequences:

  • USSR furious they had not been invited
  • Czechoslovakia began to fall apart
  • Benes resigned
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Collapse of Czechoslovakia

After Sudentanland was taken, Czechoslovakia was much weaker and other countries started taking back their land e.g.  Poland took Teschen.  Other groups protested to go back to their original countries encouraged by Hitler. In March 1939 new Czech leader Hacha invited in the Nazis to restore order putting Czechoslovakia under German control.  After this GB and France made agreements to protect Poland.  Hitler made Pact of Steel with Italy.

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Nazi-Soviet Pact

The USSR worried GB and France were encouraging Hitler to attack them, this made Stalin very suspicious after talks with GB in 1939, Stalin met with Hitler to sign Nazi-Soviet Pact.  They agreed not to fight in a future war and promised to divide Poland between them.  This allowed Hitler to invade Poland on 1st September which lead to a declaration of war on 3rd September by Great Britain.

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